Parkinson’s Disease runs in my husband’s family so we are constantly on the lookout for anything we can do to protect his brain from beta-amyloid plaques. We recently found a new source of possible protection in a surprising place: nicotine. Nicotine has been found to decrease the side effects of Parkinson’s by acting on dopamine pathway receptors. Nicotine is found in many of the fruits and vegetables in the nightshade family (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, potatoes, goji berries, etc.) so there are lots of delicious ways to sneak more nicotine into your diet!
We are all aware of the downsides of too much nicotine (Don’t smoke!) but choosing to get it through nightshade vegetables may have trade-offs as well. Specifically, nightshades contain solanine, a substance sometimes correlated to muscle aches and inflammation. Solanine inhibits an enzyme called cholinesterase, which plays a role in muscle movement. High levels of solanine might make your muscles feel stiff or swollen.
serves 2 (+ leftovers for 1)
- 3 bell peppers – cored and cut into inch wide slices
- 1 cup frozen corn (omit for slow carb)
- 1 can refried black beans
- 0.5 cup salsa
- 1 white onion – diced
- 4 tbs minced garlic
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 avocados
- 1 large tomato – finely diced
- 3 tbs cilantro – rough chop
- 2 green onions – rough chop
- oil of choice
- protein of choice, cooked as desired
- juice of two small limes
- Clean and prep all veggies.
- Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
- Over medium-high heat, brown diced onion in 2 tbs oil.
- Arrange bell pepper strips in a single layer on a foiled baking sheet. Put them in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Over medium heat, simmer black beans with the salsa in 1 tbs of avocado oil. Stir occasionally to combine while the peppers bake.
- Once the onions are translucent, add garlic, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne, paprika, and cumin. Reduce to medium and cook for five more minutes.
- Add corn to the onions. Stir to combine and cover. Let cook for five minutes.
- Take bell peppers out of the oven. Pour bean/salsa mixture evenly over the slices. Top with onion and corn. Put back in the oven for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mash together avocado and lime juice.
- Add diced tomato, salt, and pepper. Stir.
- Remove bell peppers from oven.
- Plate and garnish with guacamole, chopped cilantro, chopped green onion (and cooked protein, if applicable).
Potential Benefits: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23131151
Potential Side-effects: http://haydeninstitute.com/diet-nutrition-blog/inflammatory-foods-nightshades